Successful leaders of the future must be resilient, according to Sally Loane, CEO of the Financial Services Council.
But right now current leaders should do more to ensure women are given bigger roles and responsibilities — and paid fairly for their work.
With a career that’s spanned TV, print and radio journalism, and in senior leadership positions across business, Sally’s very much familiar with what good leadership looks like.
She joins an impressive lineup of women and men who’ve joined our 2017 Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards judging panel.
Below, she an answers our one-minute Q&A.
Who and what do you lead today?
I’m the CEO of the Financial Services Council (FSC), the peak membership body for a broad and diverse group of companies across financial services, including retail superannuation funds, life insurers, fund and asset managers, trustees and advice licensees.
How did you get here?
I’ve taken 180 degree turns at every point in my career – from 25 years in journalism where I pivoted across print, TV, back to print and then to radio; then into the corporate sector for 9 years as a senior executive with a top 30 ASX company; then I was headhunted to lead the FSC.
How have you worked with mentors or sponsors during your leadership career?
I’ve always watched leaders and influencers closely and tried to learn from them. Back in my journalism days they weren’t called “mentors” but I had role models like Michelle Grattan. I’ve found coaching very useful – and the support inside Chief Executive Women ranks has been amazing.
What key skills & attributes will successful leaders of the future have?
Resilience, first, second and third. Followed by the ability to adapt fast.
What do you look for in a ‘potential’ leader?
Intellect, personal warmth and great communication skills.
What needs to change to get more female leaders in your sector?
Fix the gender pay gap by making sure women are paid same as men for equal work. Fix superannuation gender gap by paying superannuation guarantee for period women are off work caring for children or elders. Leaders should take a punt on putting more women into major roles, even if it seem risky at first.
What tools do you use to stay-up-to date as a leader?
Everything. I am an avid consumer of print, broadcast and social media at any hour of the day. I attend seminars and conferences when I can– it’s good to take one’s brain for a walk and focus on the future and on solutions.
Any book you’d recommend that has aided your leadership career?
I don’t like self-help books. I read fiction for my heart and head. My favourite this year has been All the Light You Cannot See by Anthony Doerr for its elegant, exquisite story and simply beautiful writing.